Who are the Jazz Police?
A jazz samurai be-bop love story


z by Chris Quinlan


I am a private eye. Yesterday, I was sitting in my New York type Laverton South office when there was a knock on the door which scared me half out of my secretary. My first case had come in so I polished off two bottles.

The phone rang, I knew something was wrong because I don't have a phone; a sultry sexy voice purred over the line ....... "Who are the Jazz Police?" This caught my attention, she sounded to me like a jazz singer I once met, she had teeth like the ten commandments .... all broken!

"The Jazz Police run this town, baby" I replied. Boy, did I know about The Jazz Police; my last job, "The case of the alto player who lost track of one" was baffling, until the vital clue popped up, a metronome with a flat battery, led me to the jazz policeman's lair, inside, I found the alto player .... he had a stab wound to his heart, bullet wounds to his head and his wrists were slashed ...... he was dead. The Jazz police take no prisoners, they were gone, the trail gone cold.

"What are they up to know?" I asked ... "No more over the phone" she whispered ...... "Meet me at Vinnie Grabyourballsowski's jiving jazz joint in one hour, and make sure you bring your horn, you know how to blow don't you? Just put your two lips together and say Arts Council Grant"

I raced downstairs and hailed a cab. The cab stopped with a jerk, the jerk got out and I got in. The driver took the corner at 100 kph, a cop stopped us and told us to put it back. We drove along the footpath because there was a sign saying "Keep death off roads". Then we were out of the city, I knew this because we weren't hitting so many pedestrians. As we got to the jazz joint, the jazz singer met me at the door, she greeted me with a burning kiss, then she took her cigarette out and kissed me again.

We went into the jazz joint, she took me through to the band room, there was the leader of "The Jazz Discharge Avante-Garde Collective", a gorgeous woman looking out the window, she turned around and pointed two thirty-eights at me, she also had a gun. She had the most beautiful blonde hair on her head too.

"The jazz police are here!" she whispered in a purring tone, "They're at the bar disguised in grey goatee beards and slurping red wine, talking loudly through slow ballads, I just can't solo with all this pressure, I'm afraid of playing an out of tune note or something."

"Don't worry slinky" I replied nonchalantly "Get your band to play Autumn Leaves in reggae and I'll slip you out the back door while they're writing the review.

As the band were taking the song up an octave and leaving it out, I slipped Sweet-cakes out through the back-door, outside was the manager in his car ..... dead ..... his mobile phone was still next to his ear, I picked it up, he was talking to the city morgue, he must have seen the bullet coming.

We jumped in the car and made our getaway, as we turned the corner, a brick came flying through the window, hit honey-buns on the tit and broke four of my fingers. The jazz police were on to us, we needed some quick action, I grabbed the managers mobile-phone, rang Ahmet Rodan, Director of "I can't believe it's not an Arts Grant!" incorporated.

"Don't you know that the jazz police bugs everybody?" Hot-pants asked in a breathless voice.

I knew his phone was tapped, I took a risk ..... jazz is like that, "Baby, these are the days where you have to be so tough, you wear your clothes out from the inside!"

"I need some dough for a freaky project" I shouted into the mobile as the jazz police gained on our funky little be-bop volkswagon. "What's the angle?" Ahmet replied in a thick husky kind of New-York type Brunswick st Fitzroy accent.

"Well, the drummer will play in 7/8. The bass player will play in 3/4, The piano player will play in 5/16 while the tenor sax blows his nose, we all use Ornette Coleman's Harmolodic theory and will wear dresses and funny hats with straws coming out of our bottoms to prove we are truly different and genuinely freaky ..... I'm sure it never has been done before."

"You've got the gig, man!" Ahmet Rodan replied "Sounds terrific, make sure you only get musicians who are sullen and withdrawn and continually drift off into the twilight world of their own secret thoughts, also, if you rehearse, you'll fuck the magic up, so don't, make sure the musicians always go for a note they know they can never get, it sounds more authentic that way, I can't talk any more, see you at the gig, don't forget the kick-back, eerr, commission is 20%, one more thing, "THIS IS NOT JAZZ, THIS IS ART!!!!"

"Right on, brother!" I threw the mobile back on the deck, turned a corner and put some smoke between me and the goatee, pendant wearing, jazz fraternity on our tail. As we threw the nitro switch on our Be-bop Volkswagon, we noticed that the jazz police were giving up the chase. My plan worked! Why?

As Doll-face sidled up next to me, she wrapped her red ruby lips around a cigarette, took a deep breath, hacked up some phlegm, spat it out the window, turned and whispered in my non-whistling ear.

"True pure music trancends all musical boundaries and becomes a higher plane of expression, releasing the artist from the bonds of categorisation, thereby forcing the more regressive elements of modern society to re-evaluate their collective safety net of churning out tired re-treads of former glories not for the making of a quick buck, but to use as a spring-board for delving deeper into the universe of possible new musics awaiting discovery."

"Gee, I love it when you talk dirty" I said cooly .... and with that there was a loud bang. We had a flat tyre, so we pumped, I pumped, she pumped and then we got out and fixed the tyre. I took her home, she asked me in for a root beer ... the root was nice, but the beer was flat.

With the Jazz Police now unable to touch us with their chief weapons of sarcasm, scorn and syncopations of modern cynicism. We kicked back and looked forward to a brave new world where music was not judged by what clothes you wear, but by how much money you make with it, and how fast.

Happy in my thoughts, I gave my baby a goodnight kiss, she looked up, closed her legs, and broke my glasses. .